In some countries, gift wrapping has almost become an art form. Some wrappings are colorful while others depict themes relating to a specific native activity. Provided below are a few samples of traditional - and not-so-traditional - gift wrapping ideas from across the globe.
Japanese rice paper can be used in many ways. It usually comes in plain white. One time, I received a gift from a friend wrapped in white rice paper which was finely etched with the green lines of a willow tree. It was quite impressive, not to mention the gift inside (a silk wallet stitched with a Japanese scene).
The Japanese are great gift-givers. Presents can range anywhere from a case of $100 melons to a simple bunch of radishes. Gift-giving in Japan is a token of appreciation, but it can also become a competition.
Years ago a friend gave me a Christmas gift he wrapped himself. The paper had a crepe feel, and was multi-colored with red, green and white to match the Mexican flag (pictured below). It was beautiful, and one of the finest examples of personal wrapping I've ever seen.
Gift baskets can also be used to depict various themes. Ethnic breakfast goodies with a small flag representing the country are a good idea. An Irish gift basket (pictured below) might be filled with items found in a typical breakfast, such as scones, sausages, blood pudding, potatoes, coffee and a tin of tea. Other baskets can be themed for alcohol (whiskies and stouts), cheeses, or anything related to the potato.
It's easy to use your imagination when wrapping a gift. Adding a touch of cultural background is truly unique, but you can let your mind run wild and create whatever you like.